NEW YORK (May 29) - Jews fabricated the existence of holy sites in the West Bank after the Six Day War, said Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Maoz to New York Jewish leaders on Friday during a visit that was sponsored by the Israeli government.
"We invent all kinds of tombs" in Palestinian-populated areas, said Maoz at a meeting with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, citing Joseph's Tomb, located in Nablus, which was destroyed by Palestinian rioters and rebuilt as a mosque in October 2000.
Maoz added that world Jewry has overreacted to the desecration of the tomb, while failing to note that groups of all faiths, including the Moslem Public Affairs Council in the US, recognized the site as being holy to Jews and condemned its destruction.
"Sometimes I think Judaism is paganism," said Maoz, referring to holy sites in general. "We sanctify stones and tombs instead of spirit."
Maoz's visit to the US was sponsored by the Israeli consulate's office of academic affairs, which brought him over to discuss prospects for peace and coexistence in the Middle East.
Following Maoz's speech, a consulate spokesman emphasized that "speakers we bring over do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Israeli government or the office of academic affairs in the US."